Back to Basics: Saving Your Skin

As one who has experienced skin problems run the gamut from excessive dryness to pimples the size of small planets, I know firsthand how not liking what you see in the mirror can damage one’s self-esteem. From my middle school days of slathering on Noxema hoping for a miracle to now reading the ingredients’ list to weed out known carcinogens from my vanity, I have found that having a quality skin care regimen has been my saving grace to stem the tide of breakouts, reduce my scarring, and promote my own general sense of well-being. It also enables me to infuse a bit of self-care into my daily rituals, which for me has been essential to starting my day on a good note.

2011 vs 2020. The glow-up is REAL.

Of course we’re always on the hunt for that product (or those products) that will make our skin smooth, radiant, and youthful. Before you go out and look for your skincare’s holy grail, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Assess your current routine: When you’re done with your skin care regimen, your skin should feel revived, well-hydrated, and supple. If at any point your skin feels tight, irritated, or just blah, take a look at the product you used right before that feeling. Chances are, it’s also the culprit keeping you from optimizing your skin’s health and should be tossed without a second thought. Conversely, maybe there is something missing from your routine, such as a serum, an exfoliant, or a cleanser that better suits your needs.

How is your skin behaving? Our skin type does not always lend itself to our skin’s current condition. For example, although my skin type is combination/oily, I have had periods of dryness during which time I’ve had to switch to a slightly heavier moisturizer to pick up the slack. Therefore, don’t be afraid to try something new or uncommon to your current routine; the temporary change may be what you need to bring yourself back to center.

Your products may not be the problem. I have had times when customers have come in and after talking to them, we both found that their skincare routine was perfectly suited. However, after further discussion, the client noted that increased stress, changes in diet (especially an increase in sugar), life changes,a lack of sleep, or simply not enough water factored into the unwanted change in their skin’s appearance. No serum can replace the effects that come with taking good care of yourself with a sound diet, adequate hydration, and stress management. Take stock of what may be going on in your life; upon making the necessary changes, you just might see your skin come back to life.

Protect at all costs. The one thing I will always recommend to everyone no matter your age, skin tone, or skin type is sun protection. Skin cancer is real and can affect anyone; the best way to prevent it is to use an SPF of at least 30 every day, no exceptions (yes, even when it’s cloudy and you work indoors). Also: the idea that darker skin does not need sun protection is a myth. As I say to my customers: using sun protection is the difference between looking like you’re 50 when you’re 80, or looking like you’re 80 when you’re 50.

One of these days I’ll share my own routines (yes, I have several!). Until then, here are a few favorites of mine that I use in one of my daytime routines:

Row 1 (Left to Right):
Dr. Loretta Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser, $35
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum, $65
Kate Sommerville Oil-Free Moisturizer, $65

Row 2 (Left to Right):
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $34
Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream, $72

Published by Jasmyn Elliott

I am a beauty and wellness blogger based in South Florida. My interests and expertise include skincare, makeup, fashion, mental health, and social commentary.

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